FY2013 Budget Request is Mixed Bag For World's Poor, Say Leading NGOs

13 Feb, 2012, 18:12 ET from InterAction

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Obama administration's FY2013 budget request is a mixed bag for the world's poor, with continued investment in international assistance overall but targeted cuts in areas such as global health and humanitarian assistance, said leading NGO alliance InterAction.

"Foreign assistance already amounts to less than 1 percent of the federal budget. We understand that this is a difficult fiscal climate, but any further trimming of these core accounts is counter-productive and impedes our efforts to build more self-sufficient populations," said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction.

"We hope Congress will continue to support direct investments in innovative programs like new life-saving vaccines or teaching agriculture practices, which help people in less-developed countries feed themselves. These are key components of a strategy to make the delivery of aid more effective, transparent and accountable," said Worthington.

Overall, the international affairs budget request increased by 2 percent ($1.3 billion) to $56.2 billion from FY2012 levels, but several accounts that target global poverty were trimmed back. This included funding for global health projects, which are down 4 percent ($314 million) to $7.85 billion, and funds for migration and refugee assistance cut back by 13 percent from $1.88 billion to $1.63 billion.

Other cuts include:

  • International Disaster Assistance is down 2 percent from $975 million to $960 million.
  • Food for Peace grants are down 5 percent from $1.466 billion in FY2012 to $1.4 billion in FY2013.

On the plus side:

  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria commitment is kept with a $1.65 billion request.
  • The World Bank's International Development Association gets a $33.5 million increase (3 percent) to $1.36 billion; and a number of the multilateral development funds, the debt restructuring fund, and the GEF get increases of varying sizes.

For InterAction's federal budget table, please go to http://www.interaction.org/document/interaction-federal-budget-table-fy2013-budget-request.

InterAction is an alliance of nearly 200 U.S.-based international NGOs that offer humanitarian and development assistance. Our members operate in most developing countries, working alongside local communities to overcome poverty.

SOURCE InterAction